Few in Hollywood thought Vanity Fair would dare restart its annual Oscar party in this lousy economy after cancelling it last time around because of the writers strike. (We could hope, right?) But Graydon Carter just announced: “Vanity Fair will hold its annual Oscar Night party at the Sunset Tower Hotel on February 22, 2009. The party will be a much more intimate affair than in years past; we’re going to scale back the guest list considerably. We’ll celebrate Hollywood’s big night the way we did when we first threw the party 15 years ago — it will be a cozier, more understated event. And one with familiar décor — given the current economy, and our dedication to the green movement, we will be recycling many of the elements of years past. We also look forward to working with Jeff Klein, who owns the Sunset Tower (and is my partner in another venture), in making next year’s Oscar party a memorable one.” Oh, now I get it: Graydon got an insider’s deal. Carter, the co-owner of NYC’s Waverly Inn, recently bought the lease of East 54th Street’s Monkey Bar from the Glazier Group with two partners including hotelier Klein, who helped out VF with a barebones price to replace defunct Morton’s as the VF party venue. The Sunset Tower used to be the old St. James Club, then the unchic Argyle, and now its reputation consists mostly of Page Six-publicized fights with the likes of Britney Spears and Sean Diddy Combs while Jeff Klein comes off as a nasty piece of work. Yes, Graydon really is a restaurateur now, not an editor.
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